Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Germany ran "austerity" politics for most of its recent history and yet has one of the most advanced social networks in Europe.

Germany's austerity was a protectionist exercise in which Germany piggybacked on the rest of the Eurozone to pay for the reunification.

Colour me unimpressed.

And of course it won't work for the Eurozone as a whole, because the world outside the Eurozone is not going to let the Eurozone piggyback on their recovery.

Basically, what got us off track, financially,

A creative rewriting of the present. There is no European government finance crisis. There is a European trade imbalance crisis.

were three things: the unsuccessful Keynesian episode in the 70ies,

Historical revisionism. The Keynesian policies in the '70s were perfectly successful at their objective - which was to maintain output and employment.

They were not successful at containing inflation, but (a) inflation doesn't matter, so fuck that. And (b) the '70s inflation was imported and therefore not amenable to fiscal policy solutions.

The point of prudent financial policy isn't a balanced budget per se. Others have noted that one method of dealing with debt is growing out of it (which, fwiw, is only sustainable as there actually is long term growth,

False. The government can simply elect to pay zero per cent interest on its bonds.

And if THAT is austerity, well, its the only long term sustainable policy at all. All other policies lead to the Greek end game.

False. Look at Japan.

The problem with Keynesian reality is that there is no political system that ever managed to implement the "and in boom years we pay back the debt we incurred in a bust period" part.

Because it is totally unnecessary. Governments do not have to pay back their "debt," ever.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 03:48:40 AM EST
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